Greetings, duelists! Today, I'm taking a break from all the hype surrounding the Kaijudo Master Challenges to bring you a special article. Wizards of the Coast has been thoughtful enough to allow me to preview two exclusive cards from the upcoming set, Clash of the Duel Masters, for Alter Reality Games! In addition, I'll be giving some brief thoughts about a few of the other preview cards we've already received from various sources. Remember, the set releases on May 24th! Set Premieres will be held at stores across the continent the following day - Saturday, May 25th. Anyway, with no further ado, here's the first card!
As you can see, Cryptic Worm is a relatively simple card. The Water/Darkness creature comes with a 5000-power body at level 4 and no additional effects. Its functionality as a vanilla creature is somewhat enhanced by it being of two civilizations, since it has two races as a result. That being said, Cyber Viruses and Rot Worms don't really have the best support at the moment. However, all that could change when we see the rest of Clash of the Duel Masters!
This isn't the first example of a level 4, 5000 power vanilla creature with two races being spoiled. The beauty in these creatures really does lie in their simplicity. While not necessarily worth playing on their own, as their races get more support (possibly in this very set), they become more viable options. After all, 5000 power is a solid amount and Cryptic Worm could potentially be one of the staple Viruses/Worms if those strategies happen to get the proper support and evolutions to become workable.
Now that we've gotten the simpler creature out of the way, let's get into the much more interesting one!
This card is incredibly interesting. First off, let's go over the basic stats, which admittedly aren't impressing. At level 8, 4000 power isn't impressing; that's lower than Cryptic Worm's power, and the Worm costs half as much mana to summon. However, Spelljacker has one of the coolest effects we've seen so far in Kaijudo involving an area we've so far left alone: the opponent's discard pile.
As a level 8 creature in the Water and Darkness civilizations, this card looks like it would find an obvious home in control decks. So far, neither of its races, Aquans or Specters, have seen much support, but that could change in the future. Spelljacker's effect is what really makes it stand out. Memory Probe allows you to use any spell in your opponent's discard pile, a potentially incredible effect that is very dependent on the deck you happen to be facing. Generally, Spelljacker will have the most effectiveness in the control mirror match, since control is the deck that generally runs the most powerful spells. Against a rush deck, you might only be able to re-use cards like [ccProd]Comet Missile[/ccProd], but control is full of devastating cards like [ccProd]Terror Pit[/ccProd], [ccProd]Stormspark Blast[/ccProd], and [ccProd]Skull Shatter[/ccProd]. Even some aggro decks like Dark Saber-Bolt run these types of cards, so Spelljacker will probably have a good amount of targets late game when you can finally summon it.
Re-using an expensive spell like Skull Shatter is obviously great because you're getting a 4000-power body on top of such a game-changing card, there are plenty of cheaper spells that are also great to use again. If you're in the control matchup and you just lost your hand to Skull Shatter, drawing this opens up a huge number of possibilities. Not only can you Shatter them back while summoning a creature, but if they don't have a hand, you can re-use cheap spells they might have cast earlier like [ccProd]Logos Scan[/ccProd] or [ccProd]Crystal Memory[/ccProd] to put yourself right back in the game.
The last important factor I really like about this card is that it gives your control deck access to cards it doesn't run - namely, every spell in your opponent's deck. We all know how crucial [ccProd]Stormspark Blast[/ccProd] can be late in the game, and against a deck like Water/Darkness/Fire control, it's sort of a relief to know you don't have to worry about it. At zero shields against a deck like that, it's possible to feel safe behind a couple blockers, but Spelljacker changes all of that. As long as your deck runs a Stormspark, a surprise Spelljacker could come down and completely ruin your plans. All of a sudden, you have to play around your opponent's cards as well as your own.
So far, we've also been given a handful of other previews; not nearly enough to make an accurate assumption of how the set as a whole will effect the meta, but enough to spark some interest in certain strategies. They can be found on the official Kaijudo Facebook page or on the Kaijudo Wiki. For notable control cards, Squillace Scourge and Cyber Lord Corile have both been spoiled. Cyber Lord Corile looks beneficial for a ton of different decks. It has the same effect as [ccProd]Dragon of Reflections[/ccProd] on a level 3, 2000 power body. This makes it, in my opinion, even more relevant than [ccProd]Dragon of Reflections[/ccProd] because it's so useful against rush strategies. After setting a [ccProd]Barrage[/ccProd] or [ccProd]Terror Pit[/ccProd] into your shields, you can then use Corile to attack over small enemy creatures, making it a very good defensive card. The low level is also useful later in the game, when you can switch out shields for very little mana and then use the rest to potentially play the card you pick up.
On the aggro front, Light and Nature are two civilizations with some cool new toys. Starseed Squadron, Keeper of Laws, and Sword Horned all make Light/Nature seem like a more viable strategy than it has been in the past, especially since it already has access to creatures like [ccProd]Bronze-Arm Sabertooth[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Lyra, the Blazing Sun[/ccProd]. Sword Horned in particular is rather crazy because it sports a massive 5500 power at only a level 3, really showing why Nature is the civilization known for power when compared to something like Cryptic Worm. This card will also probably cement the continued widespread use of cards like [ccProd]Bone Blades[/ccProd], [ccProd]Tendril Grasp[/ccProd], and [ccProd]Scaradorable of Gloom Hollow[/ccProd]. Even though we're still two weeks away from the set's release, we've seen cards that can benefit all kinds of decks; the already popular dragon decks got a potential boost as well thanks to the highly anticipated "true form" of Internus, Infernus the Immolator!
This set is looking nothing short of amazing. With 120 cards, I believe will see huge changes in the meta and expansions on the decks already out. Hopefully my preview cards are able to offer some contributions! Leave a comment down below with your thoughts on my preview cards or your thoughts on the set in general so far, and until next week, Play Hard or Go Home!